Caught in a Beehive, May 3, 2010
Stieg Larsson's third novel in the Millennium series is an international `police procedural.' It was translated into English from the Swedish by Reg Keeland in a good, flowing style. The chapters are divided into short segments, keeping readers involved with the professional and personal lives of several key characters.
The story is exciting and full of suspense from beginning to end. There are detailed descriptions of various law enforcement agencies in Sweden, with only one delay in the action as a result of a multi-page detailed description of the secret service agency "Sapo".
The plot includes high tech internet activities presented in a realistic, believable way that adds to the suspense. There are interesting presentations of political and journalistic organizations in the novel relative to the plot. The novel is self-contained meaning readers can enjoy it without reading the first two books in the trilogy. Also, the third novel does not `spoil' the first two, but rather it encourages first time Stieg readers to go back in time and read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire.
I recommend this lengthy novel to readers who enjoy novels of suspense, international intrigue, and police procedurals. It is not a book to be read quickly, but it is worthwhile and enjoyable.
A satisfying end to the Salander saga, May 2, 2010
"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" is the hefty final installment of the Lisbeth Salander series. It's a must read for anyone who has invested time in the two preceding books. However, for those used to the adrenaline rush that went with the non-stop action of books one and two, there may be some letdown in this third novel as the focus is largely on the prospective trial of Salander for the attempted murder of her father and the organization and forward movement of a government coverup conspiracy. Ms. Salander's now famous superhuman skills as an Internet jockey/hacker do not come into play until halfway through the book. And it is from that point, that the story line does get a vitamin injection and leaps forward. Ultimately, author Stieg Larsson brings the tale in for an entertaining landing.
A couple of editorial observations about the book. As well written as it is in most respects, it could have benefited from some judicious editorial tightening. There is a lot of extraneous information included that somehow slows the action down too much (in my opinion). In the same vein, Larsson's laudable details of the daily life of his characters are over done in this book. For example, the reader is informed dozens of times how tired or bone tired or exhausted one or another of the protagonists are. These personal insights are rarely provided for the bad guys, by the way. There also occasional awkward phrases or situations that may have read smoothly in the original Swedish, but come off less well in the English translation. It may be that Larsson was never able to rework the draft of "The Girl Who Kicked..." before his tragic death and the publishers decided to print the manuscript as it was. Surely, he was never able to see the book in translation.
Long and detail-burdened as it is at times, this is an excellent read and mandatory for anyone vested in the series.
I wish that the author was still alive!!!!, April 28, 2010
Perhaps the best of the trilogy!!! Well written, especially for a translation. The names of places and characters is/are a bit difficult to follow as the setting is Sweden with its unfamiliarty for Americans. Good complexity with a Hitchcokian ending. Would make an excellent movie.
A thriller that will keep you up at night, April 25, 2010
This is an amazing trilogy--but this is not a stand-alone novel. If you haven't read the first two in the series, please read them first or you will not be able to fully appreciate the complexities of the plot or the characters. Hornet's Nest picks up at the moment that the last book ends, with our heroine Lisbeth gravely injured. Well, we can guess she survives, but the twists and turns in the plot continue. Larsson combines contemporary political intrigue at the highest level of Sweden's government, agents from the Cold War, evil guardians, intrepid reporters, colorful gangsters, with a complex heroine who has suffered unimaginable abuse from early childhood but comes out alive and kicking. The only negative thing I can say is that we can't look forward to any more adventures of Lisbeth Salander and the rest of the characters from these three novels. If you like thrillers you will not be disappointed in this series, and you will see why this Swedish novelist has become a world-wide sensation. Highly recommended.